Online Video Creators Seek FCC Chair Who Will Deal With Data Caps

Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) and John Thune (R-S.D.)
are getting plenty of input on the kind of FCC chairman they should be
confirming to replace Julius Genachowski.

In a letter to the pair, a couple dozen independent online
video providers under the umbrella of, told them that "it is critical that
the next chair of the FCC recognize the threat that data caps pose to the
future growth of the Internet."

They argue that caps allow pay-TV providers to favor their
own online offerings, thwarting a movement toward independent distribution that
the Internet facilitates.

"Historically, entities that controlled broadcast
towers, cable networks, and satellites determined which types of video
programming reached viewers," they wrote. "A relationship with these
gatekeeping intermediaries was an absolutely necessary component of reaching
viewers and creating fans.  The Internet has fundamentally changed that

"During this time of leadership transition at the Federal
Communications Commission, we urge you to take steps to assure the continued
viability of independent online video programming. Specifically, we urge you to
consider the impact of broadband data caps on the future of our industry."

Among the signatories to the letter were Dane Boedigheimer,
Annoying Orange INC; Erik Martin, reddit, and Amber J. Lawson, former head of
AOL Video.

Rockefeller and Thune also heard from Mediacomchairman Rocco Commisso asking them to name a chair who was going to act on
program competition issues. The Commerce Committee is charged with vetting and
voting on the president's nominees to replace FCC chairman Julius Genachowski
and commissioner Robert McDowell, who are both exiting in the next several

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.